Few things scream party as loudly as jello shots. They're great icebreakers to get the party started, and are tasty enough to get a night of drinking really going. We've got a great jello shots recipe for you, as well as:

  • 8 great tips for perfecting these jello shots,
  • Common mistakes to avoid,
  • and some more intricate jello shot recipes for the seasoned veterans! Check them out after the main recipe.


  • 6 tablespoons gelatin, flavored
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 1/2 cup Vodka
  • 1/2 cup water, cold
  • Optional Drops of Food Coloring
  • 16 Small Cups, Paper or Plastic
  • A touch of sea salt


  1. Start some water boiling.

  2. Mix cold water and vodka together and store in the fridge while working on the gelatin.

  3. Add gelatin to a large mixing bowl. Add the boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

  4. Add the vodka/water mix to the dissolved gelatin and thoroughly stir together.

  5. Optional: Add food coloring a couple drops at a time to get the desired color. Be sure to account for any coloring the jello or vodka might have.

  6. Set up your cups on the large tray. Pour one test cup to ensure your cups don't leak!!! Then pour the rest of the 16 cups, one ounce each.

  7. Set tray in fridge for at least 2 hours, up to 12 hours for complete setting.

  8. Enjoy!


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Pot for Boiling
  • Large Tray to Hold 16 Jello Shots

Recipe Notes

Contains Alcohol, although it is only the equivalent of <3 vodka shots for all 16 jello shots.

Your choice of cup has a pretty big impact on the outcome of this recipe. Visually, plastic cups look much sharper, but the flexible paper cups are a lot easier to actually eat the jello out of. You could always just use syringes instead to make it both fun AND easy.

The cup also impacts the size of the shot. While this makes 16 one ounce shots, its a small tweak to make 8 two ounce shots with slightly bigger cups.

Also note: Total Time can be up to >12 hours if you let the jello completely set in the fridge. Your best bet would be to plan ahead to make these the night before!

7 Tips For Making Great Jello Shots

There are a few things to take note of when making jello shots to improve their quality, and also to avoid common mistakes.

1. Choose Your Alcohol Wisely

When making jello shots, it's important to use mild or flavorless spirits, such as vodka or rum. You want the jello's flavor to be the focus of the drink, not the liquor. Avoid using spirits with strong flavors such as whiskey, brandy or gin, as they'll clash with the jello's flavor and make for a rather unpleasant shot.

jello shots made using the rind of a lemon instead of cups

2. Who Needs Cups For Shots?

Paper portion cups are the simplest ways to portion out your jello shots, but who's to say you can't get a little creative, or even make the cup part of the dish? Try using molds to form your jello shots into fun shapes that you can then pop out and consume, or try hollowing out large strawberries and filling them with your jello mix. The strawberries add extra flavors, and you don't have a mess of paper cups to fill up. Another popular choice is to use the rinds of citrus or watermelon to hold the jello, which you can then consume as if you were eating an orange or piece of watermelon.

3. Get A Little Crazy With Flavors

Because jello comes in a variety of flavors, you can mix and match with alcohol to create a plethora of tasty options, ranging from simple to incredibly diverse.

The most straightforward "upgrade" you can do is intensifying the gelatin's flavor with the alcohol. For example, you can add a kick to a strawberry jello shot with strawberry vodka instead of a flavorless brand. You can apply that same rationale practically any flavor.

The key is to maintain the cocktail's proportions. For example, if you are doing a margarita jello shot, you want to put three parts tequila to one part triple sec to two parts lime juice, mixed with gelatin. Try to find a lime-flavored gelatin, as it pairs nicely with a margarita, otherwise just go for unflavored gelatin. Again, you can spice things up and make cocktail variations. Using strawberry gelatin with the margarita ingredients is a perfect example.

4. There's Such A Thing As Too Much Booze

One of the most common rookie mistakes you can make is to get too carried away with alcohol. Drinking responsibly aside, which should be central anyway, it will ruin your shot. Too much alcohol content makes jelly impossible to be... well, jelly. This is why you have to stick to the proportions mentioned above.

5. Get Out Your Calculators

When making cocktails, you will need to employ your math skills. Since three ounces of jelly go with four ounces of an 80-proof spirit, you'll need to make your cocktail's alcoholic content amount to that, whether it involves one or 10 alcoholic ingredients. You have to check the proof of each liquor you're using and do the math. One ounce of 80-proof vodka equals two ounces of 40-proof liquor, for example. The jello shot's alcoholic content can even be less, but more will make the substance mushy.

6. Make Sure You Taste Everything

Another tip that can make all the difference is pre-tasting. Before you put the mix in the fridge, taste it. If it's too sour or acidic, you can add some simple syrup or sugar, and likewise, you can balance the overly-sweet with some lemon or lime juice.

layered jello shot with fruit garnish

The presentation is also not to be overlooked. The colors you use, how you organize and layer them, garnishes you choose to put on and the combination of textures all make a difference between a standard jello shot and an outstanding jello shot.

7. Layering Shots With More Shots

If you have time on your hands and want something extra special, you can try layering different jello flavors into the same shot glass. The process requires you to make a smaller batch of the standard jello shot, and fill the cup with one-third of the mix. After refrigerating for two hours, you then make a second batch that has a different flavor than the first and fill the cup with another third of this new batch. Refrigerate for two hours, then repeat the process for a final time, with a new flavor. The process takes between six and seven hours to do, but the end result is a multi-colored, multi-flavored jello shot that is sure to wow your party guests.

Advanced Jello Shots For The Experts

Once you've gotten the basic jello shots down, you can begin getting really creative with these wild jello shot ideas:

4th Of July Jello Shots

fourth of july jello shots layered red white and blue with cherries on top

Get those layering skills down to make these patriotic 4th of July jello shots! Condensed milk, blueberry jello and strawberry jello make for a red, white and blue drink that's perfect for celebrating the U.S. Add a maraschino cherry on top as a garnish to elevate these jello shots to the next level.

Black Magic Jello Shots

blueberry and grape layered jello with black sanding sugar shots

This recipe for jello shots combines berry blue and grape jello varieties by layering them on top of each other, and then topping the shots with black sanding sugar. The result is an incredibly sweet drink, loaded with berry flavor, that's also very visually appealing.

Vegan Jello Shots

vegan jello shots with homemade vegan whipped cream and green cherries

Having a party where you know vegan guests will show up? Prepare to blow their minds with this great vegan jello shot recipe. The drink uses agar-agar, a vegan-friendly gelatin, to form the jello shots. Combined with red grape juice, sugar, vegan whipped cream, vodka and green cherries, and you'll have yourself the most memorable vegan shot around.

Double-Stuffed Oreo Jello Shots

double stuffed oreo jello shots

Loaded with liquor and Oreos, these double-stuffed Oreo jello shots are sure to be a hit for those who enjoy those with a sweet tooth. The white chocolate Godiva liqueur and vanilla vodka add a flavorful, boozy taste, while the Oreo cookies and milk make the whole shot a creamy and sweet treat with a nice kick of spirits.

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